Olivia Wilde glams up the February 2012 issue of Angeleno Magazine. The beautiful 27-year-old ‘Cowboys & Aliens’ actress sits down for a chat with the magazine and dishes on a wide range of topics including her parents, the parties they used to throw, finding her creative self, but also politics and how she campaigned on Obama’s behalf.
Speaking about her parents, two Washington journalists who have covered national and international politics and policy since the 1980s, Olivia says that, “My parents are incredible. They’re passionate about truth-seeking, striving for justice; they’re part of the original crew of investigative journalists.” Still, the actress confesses that her parents definitely knew how to throw a party. “I still can so easily recall the sounds of conversation, laughter and glasses from the 20 people seated around their dinner table,” Wilde told the magazine.
On the people attending these parties, Olivia admits that, “there was never any fame-whoring. Nobody was ever introduced to me and my sister as a ‘success,’ or as famous; we were told what they had done, what they’re doing, what’s unique about them.”
On finding her creative side, Wilde recalls that, “I lived in my head, I had a very active imagination, I could play alone in my room for hours and see whole movies in my head. This blurring of the line between reality and fantasy is something I think all kids have, and I was very lucky because my parents encouraged it. They really let me embrace the idiosyncratic, to carve out my own identity based on my own interests.”
Olivia confesses that when it comes to acting, her parents’ encouragement was broad-based. “They never would have allowed me to be a child actress, but they took my passion seriously and expected me to be serious about it. To work hard, to study the greats,” the actress says. After the eighth grade Olivia transferred to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., for high school. She admits that she was particularly attracted to the prep school’s theater department. “There was a main stage, two black box spaces, studio theaters, playwriting classes, student producing—incredible,” the actress told Angeleno.
Wilde also remembers the time she appeared as Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, when Olivia Cockburn became Olivia Wilde, a stage name homage to the piece’s playwright. “It was the first time I felt I owned the stage. It was wonderful,” she says.
On auditioning, the actress told the magazine that, “After seeing the thousands of headshots at Mali’s, I was under no illusions. I really thought I’d be a character actress, a theater actress — I never thought my looks were right to be an ingénue and I was fine with that. Even so, I wanted the experience of auditioning.” As on accepting smaller roles, she says that, “Some people think I’m stupid for taking so many supporting and smaller roles, but I love it. It reminds me of being in a company of actors, where you might be playing Lady Macbeth in one play and a nameless girl in another; you learn so much.”
Nevertheless, acting is not Olivia’s main interest. Politics, political activism and humanitarian work play important roles in her life. On campaigning for Obama, she explains that, “I really believed in him as a candidate, and got to know my country. I hadn’t been in the Midwest before, nor really in the South. I went door-to-door and it was great.” Asked whether she still supports him, the actress admits that, “It’s much harder to run on the concepts of hope and change. Student loans, banking reform? People want specifics now and they deserve them. I’m an advocate of youth participation in politics, and I hope there will be a swell of participation again, but I hope it’s based on actual knowledge of policy.”
Photos courtesy of Angeleno